I was recently discussing the fact that I refer to my exes by number when I write about them. The semi-awkward part of this was that I was discussing it with a dude. Not a boyfriend or someone who has reason to be concerned about being referred to as (or in his words relegated to a) number (that takes some degree of time, effort and commitment), but he thought it was – umm… uncool, I think.
I tried to explain that I write about #1, #2, #3, #4 and #5 enough that I do not feel comfortable referring to them by name on the internet. He said that it was objectifying. I tried to say that this was not the case, though it may be. He said that people who know me well would be able to work out who each one was. I conceded that was true, but that I felt confident that #1, #2 and #5 would be fine with that (though #5 should be uncomfortable, however much of the reason he is now #5 is illuminated in his lack of discomfort). I know that #3 and #4 would not be okay with it. The good news is #3 would never deign to read anything I ever wrote and #4 does not read full stop. I understood why he thought it was strange that I has made this a habit, but in light of the circumstances, I am not going to make a change anytime soon. There is also the bit to be considered that I do not want to make the boys/men the focal point, but rather the stories. Add to this that for better or for worse, these people had made a huge impact on my life; whether I want to admit it or not, they have been monumentally significant.
As we continued to contemplate my internet-(in)appropriate exposure, I gave some serious thought to all my exes – inconveniently not all stored in Texas.
#1: Musician. Live music freak – loves shows. Party-dude. Sports fan. Passive (chill?) Tolerant (resigned?) Sweet. Easily satisfied. Mildly bohemian and slightly malleable.
#2: Brilliant. Complicated. Live music freak – loves shows. Chill (until he is NOT chill.) Observant. Educated. Athlete & fanatic. Bros before hos. Loyal. Family man.
#3: Conflicted. Incredible business acumen. Wealthy. Critical. Hampered by family. Obsessive. Entitled. Gentleman (for a purpose.) Confident. Driven. Movie fan. Felon.
#4: Athlete. Coupon clipper & advertisement reader. Passive (aggressive.) Simple. Uncomplicated. Dependable. Unbothered. Provincial. Low needs. Jet-ski & big screen dude. Homebody. Dog person. Frustrated.
#5: Intelligent. Exotic. Music freak. Ex-pat. Junkie. Schemer. Gregarious & extroverted. Oddly confident. Liar. Reader. Shirker. Worker.
Quite a strange assemblage. And then I looked at my dinner companion who, to a degree, embodies some little something of all of them. Is it true that the older we get and the more people we know the more likely it becomes that everyone reminds us of someone? Or, is it possible that this person really and truly actually IS the embodiment of all my “boyfriends-past,” to teach me some sort of Dickensian lesson in the here and now? I have no idea, but this I know: my dinner companion/travel compadre is: A musician. (Live) music freak – loves shows. Party dude. Tolerant. Mildly bohemian. Chill (until he is NOT chill.) Observant. Loyal. Educated. Family man. Conflicted. Confident. Driven. Athlete. Dependable. Unbothered. Dog person. Intelligent. Gregarious & extroverted.
It made me think of a movie I just watched called 9. A brilliant scientist infuses sock puppets (?) each with a different part of his soul. Apparently he had nine parts. So, together they form a whole. Maybe that is my point. Or maybe it is just what happens; after meeting people for so long, and in so many places, everyone does remind you of someone else, or some aspect of one who came before. It could really be that simple. Or maybe it is something much more. And maybe it matters only in so much as I want to write about how it might.
And… maybe everyone should get their own number.